Digital Program: Revolutionaries

April 23, 2022

Hisham Bravo Groover, Conductor & Artistic Director Candidate

Thomas Stang, Piano. Grand Prize Winner, SCSO Young Performer Competition

Pre-concert Discussion 6:30 pm & Concert 7:30 pm
Ritsche Auditorium, St. Cloud State University


  • Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor (1831) by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
    II. Andante
    III. Presto – Moto allegro e vivace

    Thomas Stang, piano
    Read Program Notes >

This activity is made possible, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Hisham Bravo Groover, Conductor + Artistic Director Candidate

Read Biography >

Thomas Stang, Piano Soloist

Read Biography >

We need YOUR input!

This year, we’re highlighting 4 candidates to be our next Principal Conductor & Artistic Director, and we need YOUR help! Click the button below to share your thoughts on your concert experience and the candidates. OR, download the PDF to fill it out at home and scan/send in via email or mail it in. Your input is important to us!

Program Notes

Aaron Copland: Ceremonial Fanfare

The twentieth century saw the rapid development of an‘American’ sound. While many composers contributed towards this, Aaron Copland is without a doubt the defining voice of this period. His musical language – rhythmical, melodious, and rich in open harmonies – was best encapsulated in Appalachian Spring, a work that influenced future generations of American composers. His distinctive voice can be traced in both large-scale and smaller works, such as the Fanfare for the Common Man and the work on tonight’s program, the Ceremonial Fanfare. Commissioned in 1969 by The New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate their centenary, Copland set out to write a picturesque work for brass ensemble. 

The Ceremonial Fanfare, though short, is a work of great variety. It begins with a declamatory call introduced by a solo trumpet. This agile theme is next taken up by the trombone, slowly intensifying through the addition of instruments and by filling out sonorous harmonies. Upon reaching a peak, the music dissipates and a contemplative and expressive middle section surfaces from within. The return of the opening material, this time in full orchestration, grasps our attention and leads to a calm and reflective ending.

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Claude Debussy: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faun

Throughout each century, there exists a small number of works which make so strong an impact that the course of history is forever changed. Claude Debussy was one of the composers to make it on this list. Unlike Beethoven, Debussy revolutionized music not through drama and power, but through an exploration of color and nuance. In 1894, Debussy completed his Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, a work based on Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem by the same name. The poetry’s dreamlike and sensual atmosphere are experienced through the eyes of a faun–a mythical creature comprising of half-man and half-goat. In the Prélude, Debussy indirectly references the poem’s themes without clearly following a narrative. That one can interpret a variety of emotions and colors is the very essence of his music. The result is a work which frees the listener’s mind, allowing it to immerse in sound and wander in imagery.

The genius of this work is in part due to its unique orchestration. Aside from the standard symphonic instruments, the addition of English horn, harp, and the shimmering crotales allowed Debussy to play with colors. The work begins in complete vagueness with a flute melody –alluding to the faun and his pipe – that is devoid of any harmonic grounding. Even when the orchestra enters, the harmony remains uncertain. As the work progresses, echoes of the flute’s theme recur while more instruments accompany to create a trancelike state. Unexpected turns abound, rousing the faun’s desires. The work’s central section cries in yearnful passion only to surrender when the flute theme returns. Exhaustion wears on the faun and the music resigns into blissful sleep.

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Felix Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1

The first decades of the nineteenth century were innovative years in the history of classical music. This period saw the transition away from a refined and elegant musical style – championed by composers such as Mozart and Haydn – toward one that was driven by drama and romantic ideals. Felix Mendelssohn, who lived during this period, was one of the pioneers that helped forge new musical concepts. Even from his youth he exhibited originality and brilliance. Works such as the twelve string symphonies and the string octet, which he wrote as a teenager, exemplify his prodigious talents.

Mendelssohn wrote his Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor when he was 21 years old. In the work, he set aside the common practice of separating every movement with a clear break. Instead, he focused on crafting a larger emotional narrative by threading together its three movements. From its onset, the pianist and orchestra drive the first movement with great ferocity. A transition leads directly into the second movement whose expressive and tender music is representative of Mendelssohn’s gift for writing melody. The third movement showcases the pianist’s virtuosity with vigor and exuberance. In tonight’s program, you will hear the second and third movements performed by the Grand Prize Winner of this year’s Young Performers Competition, Thomas Stang.

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Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5

For over two centuries, Beethoven’s fifth symphony has captivated the hearts and minds of musicians and audiences alike. The genius and drama of Beethoven is perhaps most perfectly captured in this work. Though the fifth and ninth symphonies most often receive all the credit, the nine symphonies together revolutionized symphonic music, each in their own way. The fact is clear: without Beethoven, music would not be what it is today.

Since its premiere in 1808, the fifth symphony has been analyzed and discussed every which way. The transcendent journey from C minor to C major, of humanity’s struggle to overcome affliction, is what this symphony is about. A masterwork of musical economy, it begins with the smallest yet fiercest of gestures–a relentless four-note motive. Drama unfolds from the first notes and never lets up. Even as the lyrical secondary theme surfaces, Beethoven underscored it with the four-note motive played by the cellos and basses. Ruthless in its pursuit, the movement ends in turmoil.  

The second movement, Andante con moto, is set as a theme and variations. The opening theme – first played by the lower strings – circulates amongst different instruments and textures. The movement is innately optimistic, yet it manages to sew doubt, questioning whether triumph is possible.

The third movement, Allegro, begins unassumingly, though it’s not long before the horns blare the return of the four-note motive. An electrifying trio section stirs excitement only to yield back to the subdued material of the opening. As the music dies down, one of the most remarkable transitions in the history of classical music unfolds, directly leading – without pause – into the beaming victory of the finale. For the first time in the historyof symphonic music, trombones, piccolo, and contrabassoon are integrated, expanding orchestral boundaries. Throughout the movement, triumph reigns until a declamatory and celebratory conclusion.

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Hisham Bravo Groover, Conductor + Artistic Director Candidate

Hisham Bravo Groover currently serves as Assistant Conductor of the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre, and as Music Director and Conductor of the Buffalo Community Orchestra (Minnesota). Concurrently, Hisham is completing his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Minnesota where he studies under Mark Russell Smith.

Prior to moving to Minneapolis, Hisham lived in Denver, CO, where he held positions as Associate Conductor of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Arapahoe Philharmonic, and Assistant Conductor of the Lamont Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre. Before Colorado, he lived in Iowa where he served as co-conductor for the University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra, the All-University String Orchestra, as well as the Center for New Music.

As an educator, Hisham currently serves as co-director of the University of Minnesota’s Campus Orchestras. Previously, he has served as Adjunct Instructor and Conductor at Ripon College (Wisconsin), Conductor at Arapahoe Community College (Colorado) and Conductor of the 2018 Colorado State University-Pueblo Honors Orchestra.

Aside from conducting, Hisham is also a violinist and has studied with several pedagogues, including Mark Rush, Michel Boris Zaitzeff, and Ching-Yi Lin. Additional violin studies have taken him to the New Zealand School of Music and to the summer orchestra festivals at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

Hisham’s principal conducting mentors are Mark Russell Smith, Leonid Grin, and William LaRue Jones.

TJ Stang, Piano Soloist

TJ Stang is a fifteen-year-old homeschooler who loves playing the piano.  He began playing at age six and is currently studying with Dr. Paul Wirth.  TJ is also a member of his church’s worship team and plays regularly.  He volunteers his time and piano skills to play for area nursing homes.  TJ plans to continue studying piano in college and hopes to someday teach.

Orchestra Roster: Revolutionaries

April 23, 2022


Marion Judish*** (adopted by Rachel Mertz)
Laura Dahl (adopted by Gary Osberg)
David Haugen
Dianne Brady
David Arnott
Paula Ulicsni Halvorson
(Adopted by Dominic and Charlie Gwost)
Kara Mather


Rhonda Johnson*
Aurora Adamson
Rachel Tisdel
Tamara Bottge
Joshua Paavola


David Arnott*
Cecelia Diffley
John Johnson
James Johnson (Adopted by Art and Barb Grachek)
Judy MacGibbon


CJ Point**
Derrick Johnson
(Adopted by Mary Calantoc & Kevin Hanks)
Lucia Magney
William Skudlarek (adopted by Margaret Vos)
Marianne Zitzewitz


Jennifer Rubin*
Dennis Douma


Peggy Doerrie** (Adopted by Emily Schrader and Mary Vos)
Tara Prout


Lani Willis


Caroline Schmitter*
Michael Jeannot


David Thompson


Jill Pattock** (Adopted by Lauren Schrader and Mary Vos)
Donnell Lastine-Chopp


Maia Hamann**
Christine Springer


Laurie Merz


Patty Diederichs**
Emily Borra (adopted by Rachel & Grace Mertz)
Jessica Peterson
Teri Deming


Patrick Thorn**
Richard Witteman
Brett Krohn


Mark Springer** (Adopted by Ross and Jen Detert)
Matthew Clemen
Ken Vork


Justin Frerich**


Terry Vermillion** (Adopted by David Swenson Foundation and Lester Engel)


Ada Tzab


Jill Pattock


Rhonda Johnson


Derrick Johnson



*Acting Principal

Donor List

We recognize people and organizations dedicated to supporting a vibrant arts culture in Central Minnesota with great appreciation.  We salute our donors for their selfless investment in our programs, especially during these challenging pandemic times. We gratefully acknowledge contributions from the following donors between February 24, 2020, and April 14, 2022.

COMPOSER | $10,000+

Central Minnesota Arts Board
Minnesota State Arts Board
St. Cloud State University
Stearns County

PRODUCER | $5,000-$9,999

Central Minnesota Community Foundation

CONDUCTOR | $2,500-$4,999

Daniel and Mary Torgersen
Ross and Jen Detert

SOLOIST | $1,000-$2,499

Lester Engel
Don Helgeson & Sue Shepard
Michael & Karel Helgeson
Dr. Kenneth and Linda Holmen
Charlotte Stephens
Tom and Ann Stone
Merle H. Sykora
Mary Vos, Lauren Schrader, Emily Schrader

BENEFACTOR | $500-$999

Alan and Marilyn Anderson
Matthew and Michelle Clemen
David and Sharon Detert
Peggy Doerrie
Dennis and Susan Douma
Jim and Ellen Ellickson
Art and Barbara Grachek
James, Charlie, & Dominick Gwost 
Mary Calantoc and Kevin Hanks
Mariel Haugen
Allen & Laura Horn
The David Swenson Foundation
Margaret Skudlarek Vos

MUSICIAN | $100-$499

Joel and Judith Ampe
Barbara & King Banaian
Bank Vista
Micah and Jeanine Barrett
Deborah Biorn
Gene and Mary Margaret Bjorklun
Elizabeth Brunsvold
Elaine Carter
Eileen Chambers and Leanna Williams
Robert Domek (in memory of Jane Domek)
Jason Douma
Melvin and Bonnie Dowdy
Steve Eckblad
Effective Living Center
Charles and Patricia Ernst
Charles and Lois Head
Nancy Hoff
Mark and Mary Hughes
Scott W. Johnson
Jennifer Kalpin and Joshua Richardson
Robert and Vicky Kapitzke
Kirsten Kjome

(Musician level, continued)

Phyllis Lacroix
Cynthia Leigh
Mary Ann Leitch
Jerry and Mary Lou Lenz
John and Sharon Litzau
Grace and Rachel Mertz
Diane Sinell and Thomas Minor
Vicki and Lee Morgan
Gregory Nastrom
Gary Osberg
Bernie Ostendorf
John and Jane Oxton
Marvin and Ione Pearson
Vera Peterson and Bruce Regan
Rebecca Planer
Nicolyn Rajala
Sherwood and Carol Reid
Daneil & Mary Rethmeier
Frank & Rosemary Roehl
St. Cloud Area Sertoma
Coca Bochonko & Mark Springer
Janet & Thomas Savros
Linda G. Tenneson
Marilyn & Jane Thielman
Carol Vick
Joel Spoonheim & Lani Willis
Debra Carlson & Ric Wittwer

DONOR | $10-$99

Sharon Beckius
Dianne Brady
Ilene Christian
Lezlee Franke
David and Roberta Gouker
Gordon Hansmeier
John Kokett
Mari Liestman
Aurora MacMillan
Robert and Linda McManus
Gregory Nastrom
Michael and Suzanne Phillips
Nikki Rajala
Douglas Scott
Debbie Thorsten
Monica Tschumper
Catherine Verrilli 
Molly Wilbur-Cohen


Retired and Senior Volunteer
Program – RSVP of St. Cloud
Blair Schrader
Mark Springer
St. Cloud State University
Richard L. Wildberger


. . . To all of our musicians, board members, and staff! Thank you for keeping this organization moving forward. We regret any errors or omissions. Please get in touch with Lucia Magney to make corrections –


Your support is essential to helping the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra continue to present high-quality performances of music and educational outreach activities to Central Minnesota. 
Click below to make an online donation quickly and easily, or mail your tax-deductible donation to:

SCSO, PO Box 234, St. Cloud, MN 56302.

Thank you for your support!

Upcoming SCSO Concerts

June 23, 2022  Lemonade Concert @ ​Atwood Mall, SCSU

October 29, 2022 at 7:30pm @ Ritsche Auditorium

December 10, 2022 at 3:00pm @ Ritsche Auditorium

February 25, 2023 at 7:30pm @ Ritsche Auditorium

April 28, 2023 at 7:30pm @ Ritsche Auditorium